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February 2003 Volume 5, Issue 5:
Dear Reader

This issue of Myeloma Today is sponsored in part by an unrestricted educational grant from Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

Since 1995 the IMF has been funding research projects. We began by giving out one Junior Grant, which was awarded to Dr. Atsushi Ogata who was working on IL6 signal transduction. We were thrilled that the IMF was launching its research grant program, and to mark this important milestone we held a gala benefit and honored IMF Board member and myeloma patient, Dr. Francesca Thompson, author of the book Going for the Cure. It was a momentous occasion and the beginning of a new chapter for both the IMF and myeloma patients.

Over the years our research grant program expanded, and while we continued to fund Junior Grants, we also began to fund Senior Grants as well. The IMF’s research goals are clear, to bring new people into the field of myeloma, to fund projects that will have the most immediate potential benefit for myeloma patients and to maintain the highest standards in our research grant selection process. The IMF’s research grant program is made possible through the generosity of our members, people like you who believe in what we’re doing and share our values and philosophy.

Just as the treatment and management of myeloma has evolved, so has the IMF’s research program. In May, 2002, the IMF conducted its first ever telethon, and many of you responded generously when we called to ask if you would be willing to support a new research initiative that the IMF was launching. In just two days we raised $156,000!

I am proud to be able to report back to you that the IMF has launched not one but two very exciting new research initiatives, Bank On A Cure™ (BOAC) and the International Prognostic Index (IPI). Spearheading BOAC are two of the world’s leading molecular biologists, co-chairs Dr. Gareth Morgan (University of Leeds, UK) and Dr. Brian Van Ness (University of Minnesota, USA). Co-Chairs for the IPI are world experts in myeloma, Dr. Jesus San Miguel from the University of Salamanca, Spain, and Dr. Phil Greipp from the Mayo Clinic, USA. Both of these outstanding projects will greatly benefit patients in the short term and long term. The possibilities are endless.

The results of the IPI project will be presented at the IXth International Myeloma Workshop in Salamanca, Spain on May 25th from 1:30PM to 3:30PM. Work on BOAC is just beginning, and we’ll have more to report in the upcoming months. Both of these projects embody the spirit and innovation that is the IMF; they are collaborative efforts of over 20 research centers around the world. The IMF has always been about people helping people, families helping families. Now we can also say we’re about researchers helping researchers.

If you would like to learn more about these projects and would like to become a Supporting Partner, please contact the IMF.

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